April 24, 2006

By Jessica Chapman
The Kaselehlie Press

Chuuk State officials have recently acknowledged the death of Iaichy Weia, a sworn state police officer, on or about Jan. 14, 2006. Information obtained from officials and filed court documents indicate Weia was slain during a confrontation with several individuals thought to be dynamite fishing near Polle, one of the Faichuuk islands situated within the Chuuk lagoon.

A Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigation led to the arrest of five men in relation to the incident the following day, Jan. 15. Masory Karen and Das Sam of Tol Island, and Rakofich Kasimiro, Chenesy Miller and Samuel Wisim of Udot Island were charged with murder, aggravated assault, assault with a dangerous weapon, dynamiting fish and weapons violation.

Weia, 38, was off duty the afternoon of Jan. 14 when officials say a phone call was placed to DPS alerting them to his encounter with the fishermen. The caller allegedly reported at least one gunshot and that Weia left with the men in their boat. DPS officials were unable to arrive on the scene until close to midnight. The agency does not own boats to assist with investigations. According to officials, Weia's body was found floating in the lagoon several days later by family members. Defendants were released April 12 on their own recognizance. An arraignment date has not yet been set.